BERLIN: Outgoing Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick will succeed his former boss Joachim Loew in the Germany dugout after Euro 2020, the German Football Association (DFB) announced yesterday. “It’s all gone surprisingly quickly, but I am very happy to be Germany coach from the autumn,” said Flick, 56, after signing a three-year contract to succeed Loew. “I am hugely excited, because I see the class of players, and especially young players, which we have in Germany.”
Flick, who was assistant coach to Loew when Germany won the 2014 World Cup, has long been the favorite to take over from Loew, who will leave the job after 15 years in charge later this year, a year before his contract ends. “He was top of my wish list from the very start,” said national team director Oliver Bierhoff.
Flick, who also worked as DFB sporting director between 2014 and 2017, has made a name for himself as one of Europe’s top coaches in two glittering years at perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. After taking over from predecessor Niko Kovac with the club in a mid-season crisis, he led Bayern to only their second ever treble in 2020. The following year, he took the club to a ninth successive Bundesliga title.
Yet after a feud with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic over recruitment, Flick asked for his contract to be terminated prematurely at the end of the season. He will be succeeded on the Bayern bench by 33-year-old coaching prodigy Julian Nagelsmann, who joins the Bavarians from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig next season.
Flick was the obvious choice as the new Germany boss as Jurgen Klopp has made it clear he is happy at Liverpool. Loew has struggled since leading Germany to triumph in Brazil in 2014. The holders crashed out in the group stage four years later in Russia and the squad was riven with divisions. Veteran players Thomas Mueller and Mats Hummels were told their international careers were over after the debacle but Loew has now recalled the pair for the European Championship after both had impressive seasons for Bayern and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
So the big question for Flick will be how to take forward one of world football’s powers — will he dispense with the veterans and start afresh with young stars like Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who have helped Chelsea reach Saturday’s Champions League final? Or will he retain Mueller, who has shone for his Bayern team? Flick’s answers are only likely to come once he sees how Germany perform at the Euro in Loew’s swansong. – AFP